August 09, 2021
Series: Why I Advocate - Michelle Becker
By: Michelle Becker | 0 Comments
A new post in our weekly series leading up to the Lamaze International 2021 Virtual Advocacy Summit on September 27-29. The virtual summit is an opportunity to connect with your fellow Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators from around the world, who will be meeting to address the most critical and timely policy issues that affect prenatal care and childbirth outcomes. In this series, blog readers will have an opportunity to meet perinatal professionals and read their personal essays on why they advocate for evidence based care, improved policies and funding that impact birth outcomes. You can find the entire "Why I Advocate" Series here. - Sharon Muza, Connecting the Dots Community Manager.
Why do I advocate? Because everyone is entitled to the same information. Knowledge about our bodies should not be kept secret by the experts and should not be limited to those who can afford a high-price education. The human ability to birth should not be kept in the dark. It should be celebrated! We should shout from the rooftop: I can do it!
I advocate to give a voice to those who cannot speak and those who are not heard. The United States has a notorious history of not listening to women, especially women of color. I fight for those who cannot. Birth is one of the most vulnerable times in a person’s life. During labor, we are in pain, we are scared, and we are focused on ourselves. It is not the time to be alone and without support.
As a labor & delivery nurse, I learned the fast-paced medical model of birth. I worked in a high-volume hospital, rushing from one delivery to the next. Eventually, every patient starts to blend. You focus on the negatives and protecting yourself from risk. You lose sight of the natural beauty.
As a midwife, I learned another side. I learned about the power in our bodies. I learned to trust the process and expect the normal, while still preparing for the exceptions. I learned about home birth and birth centers. I made connections with doulas and other childbirth educators.
Everyone deserves the same education about health, the human body, and birth. Informed consent looks very different when you don’t know all the options. All birthing individuals deserve to feel empowered and autonomous. I advocate because the medical community should not be the only decision maker. Every individual is unique, and every individual is the best decision maker for themselves. Birth is not a medical emergency and it is not an illness. It is a natural process. We deserve to question our options. As a nurse, midwife, and Lamaze childbirth educator, I can help bridge the gap between the world of medicine and expectant families. I advocate because evidence-based practices need to become common knowledge for all.
About Michelle Becker
Michelle first fell in love with the magic of birth during nursing school. In 2012, she became a licensed registered nurse. After working as a labor and delivery nurse, she enrolled in graduate school to become a certified nurse midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner. During grad school, she attended training to become a Lamaze childbirth educator. Michelle joined the Lamaze A+C Committee in 2021 and lives with her husband and 2 stepchildren in Albuquerque, NM.
TagsLamaze International Advocacy Advocacy & Collaboration Committee Advocacy Summit 2021 Series: Why I Advocate Michelle Becker